Power Station Remediation
This reference page provides links to information, contacts and updates from the Environemntal Protection Agency (EPA), SA Health and Flinders Power regarding fly ash and remediation of the power station site. All information is also updated on Council's Facebook page.
EPA Website for Flinders Power - this includes reports, data on ash content, SA Health information, and general information about monitoring and site remediation
EPA Pollution reporting
Call 1800 623 445 or 8204 2004 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can notify the EPA by email for non-emergency complaints. The email notification must include:
- name, address and daytime telephone number of person making the report
- incident details (please indicate if the incident is still occurring at the time this notification is lodged)
- date and time of incident
- details of source of pollution—business name, address, etc
- location of incident (not always the same as address).
- Note: The EPA may not be able to act on complaints lodged more than two business days (Monday to Friday) after the incident occurs. Anonymous notifications will most likely not be investigated by the EPA. Caller's details are confidential to the EPA, but details may be given to the local council if the incident is within its jurisdiction.
SA Health has set up a hotline for residents with health concerns or questions. For health related information and advice, please tel: (08) 8226 7100.
SA Health Dust in Port Augusta information - this includes information on rainwater, swimming pools, summary of health effects and general advice.
Port Augusta City Council
Information display in the Civic Centre foyer
Port Augusta City Council has been pursuing the issue of remediation of the ash dams and the lakes system since the closure date for the Augusta Power Stations was announced in July 2015.
The short lead time to closure from the announcement (less than 12 months) followed on from an announcement in February 2014 that the power stations would remain operational for another 15 years. Council has raised the issue on many occasions with State and Federal Government representatives as well as Alinta Energy and its subsidiary Flinders Power.
With support from the State Government, Council has commissioned environmental consultants Tonkin to prepare a report on the lakes system to see what is needed to return the lake to its near natural state. It has also reported rising ash dust to the EPA an a number of occasions since the closure.
It has also been working with Flinders Power and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to try and find a long-term solution. Flinders Power are planning to trial an odour suppressant but it is likely this can only be used on the edge of the lake and won’t be long lasting. In terms of the ash, Flinder Power recommenced aerial bombing of the ash dam on January 5 to apply a gel coating to supress dust.
Council and the Port Augusta community are not in a position to be able to afford any remediation of the site, nor should it. However, this is an issue Council will continue to fight on behalf of the community. A community information session is planned for February on the lakes and ash dam issues with representatives from the EPA and other organisations on a panel that will provide information and answer audience questions.
Council has also invited Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey to address Council members on the lakes issue and other matters relating to the closure of the power stations.
Timeline of events relating to Augusta Power Station closure
February 2014- Alinta gave a presentation to Council, stating the power station had another 15 years of operation.
June 2015- Closure of power station by 2018 was announced. Mayor Sam Johnson and CEO John Banks first raised the issue of the ongoing management of the lakes with Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsay and Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
July 2015- Closure of power station in 2016 was announced.
October 28 2015- Issue of ash dam and bird lake raised by Council at the Port Augusta Alinta Advisory Committee meeting.
November 2015 - Last coal train from Leigh Creek to the Augusta Power Station.
May 2016- Power generation ceased at the Augusta Power Station. Council informed by Alinta that there would be two years of waterflow going into the lake.
July 2016 - Reports of ash and dust lodged with EPA & Flinders Power
2016 - Ash dam and bird lake remediation raised by PACC at every monthly meeting of the Upper Spencer Gulf & Outback Taskforce – USG Economic Transition Forum
October 2016- Council advised by Alinta that pumping of water had ceased and spraying of a dust suppressant would occur on the ash piles.
November 2016 - Bird Lake begins drying out
December 2016 - Strong odour from Bird Lake reported by nearby residents and motorists.
December 28 - Rainfall of between 25mm and 60mm is experienced across Port Augusta. Dust suppressant on ash dams damaged.
January 2017 - Strong winds generate clouds of ash from the ash dam which blow across Port Augusta and surrounding areas. Port Augusta residents share their stories with State and National media. A community lobby group is formed. Council representatives meet with EPA, Government Ministers and Flinders Power.